Patients who have complex health needs are often required to take multiple medications for short or long term treatments. Older patients, patients with chronic pain or diseases, and patients with weakened immune systems are especially dependent upon receiving all of their medications correctly and regularly. It is no easy task to keep track of all of these drugs and dosages and that is where medication therapy management (MTM) can really help.
One of the greatest risks when taking multiple medications is drug interaction. From a change in efficacy to dangerous side effects, taking multiple medications at the same time can be a potential health risk. This is especially true for patients who see multiple specialists and receive prescriptions from them. Pharmacists are supposed to keep an eye out for drug interactions when filling prescriptions. If a pharmacist does not have the full picture of a patient’s health and medications, he or she cannot always spot problems before they occur.
With medication therapy management, a pharmacist or other trained health professional can give you a detailed overview of all of the medications you are currently taking. This professional can address concerns like the best times or ways to take medications, the cost of medications, drug interactions, and address any questions about prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
Many MTM sessions result in a helpful form listing all of the medications a patient is currently taking, their dosages, frequency, and why they were prescribed for the patient. This is an excellent form to have for wellness visits, follow-ups or visits with specialists, hospital visits, or any surgery or procedures that need to be performed. Having an up-to-date list of a patient’s conditions and medications can be life-saving so it is important that this list is distributed to any and all physicians the patient sees.
The fear of a drug interaction is an understandable one; because the consequences for this oversight can range from harmless to life-threatening, proper medication therapy management is essential. With an adequate assessment from a medication therapy management specialist, patients with complex health needs can receive the one-on-one attention they need to be sure all of their medications are being managed correctly.
Older patients or chronically ill patients can really benefit from these reviews, possibly finding ways to make the effects of their medications even better. Sound pharmaceutical care will drastically cut hospitalizations. Enrolling in a medication therapy management program helps patients reduce, resolve and prevent adverse drug reactions.